California legislative committee avoids vote on ‘Orca Bill;’ Defers to 2015

SeaWorld's New Killer Whale Show 'One World' premier where trainers do not enter the water with the whales.

SeaWorld’s New Killer Whale Show ‘One World’ premier where trainers do not enter the water with the whales.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A headline-grabbing bill that would have stopped display and entertainment shows using orca’s will be tabled until at least next year.

The Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee of the California Assembly heard testimony Tuesday about the bill, reported KTXL-TV.

Assembly Bill 2140 is the latest event in the fallout and changing opinions about SeaWorld and shows using Orcas since the CNN documentary ‘Blackfish’ came out. The show explored SeaWorld trainers and is critical of the theme park’s orca management practices.

Last year, SeaWorld had a string of musicians and singers cancel concerts at the park.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, proposed the bill.

Committee members were greeted with a packed hearing room on the fourth floor of the State Capitol. Dozens were crammed into the hallway outside the room, watching committee members and speakers on monitors.

A short time after Tuesday’s testimony began, the committee decided to hold the bill for interim study, saying they need more time to study the details of the bill and the impacts on the orcas. The process is expected to take several months.

The committee allowed the public comment to continue Tuesday. Speakers included both bill opponents and supporters; scientists, SeaWorld trainers, environmentalists, and other concerned parties.

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